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The “Oromo National Charter” and the Future of Ethiopia: A Plea for Clarity.

Tedla Woldeyohannes, Ph.D.*

ethiopia-675-satenaw-news-1In response to my most recent article, “Can the Ethiopian Government Save Itself and Ethiopia Too”? , a number of readers emailed me to ask me for my views on the future of Ethiopia, how a peaceful transition can be achieved, the role of opposition parties in a transitional government, etc. While thinking about these questions yesterday (October 5, 2016) I posted on my Facebook wall the following thought that is future-oriented with a lesson from the past regarding the problem of leadership in Ethiopia. “A memo to the next leaders of Ethiopia: In the event the regime collapses sooner or later, those of you who are preparing yourselves to take leadership roles, you must take an active note of what people are telling the regime in power: No group of people can rule the people with a complete disregard to the will and dignity of the people. If the next leaders of Ethiopia are not *already* learning enduring lessons from the catastrophic mistakes of the current regime in the deathbed, your fate will also be the fate of the regime in power now and those that preceded it. My concern is not only as to how this regime will go away, but also who will replace it and how different the future of Ethiopia will be from its past. When it comes to the governments of Ethiopia, our futures [in the past] and our past have been one and the same—we only had terrible governments. The world is watching along with the people of Ethiopia as to how significantly different [=better] the next leader of Ethiopia will be.”

Hours later, the same day (October 5, 2016), I read a statement from the leadership of the Oromo Protest regarding Oromo Leadership Convention to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 11-13, 2016. The main objective of this article is to ask some questions that call for clarity from the Oromo leaders who composed the document that calls for an Oromo leadership convention. Much of what I raise below is based on what has actually been said in the document that is a call for a convention, and the rest will be drawing out some implications from what is said.
A Plea for Clarity
I will quote the document which is the call for an Oromo leadership convention to situate my clarification-seeking questions with an intention that the desired clarity will add to national conversation and debate about the immediate future of Ethiopia as a nation. To begin from the very beginning, the document reads, “The #OromoProtests of 2015-16 constitute a milestone in the recent history of the Oromo nation. More importantly, they are a continuation of a century of resistance the Oromo have mounted against a succession of ruling elites in Ethiopia who have denied Oromo nationhood, dismissed Oromo nationalism as an elite conspiracy and denigrated the Oromo people’s capacity for self-government.” Question #1: What does it mean to say “Oromo nationhood” was denied for centuries? Does it mean that there was a distinctly independent Oromo nation at some point in the past that has been denied that independent nationhood? Where was that independent Oromo nation in a contemporary geo-political map? What does the term “Oromo self-governance” mean in relation to the rest of Ethiopia that constitutes one nation, at least as presently understood?
In Paragraph 2 the document states, “They [the Oromo Protests] have earned respect within and without for the young generation of Oromo and reaffirmed the longstanding observation that Oromo is a great African nation.” Question # 2: This preceding statement assumes that there was/is an African nation named “Oromo.” Is that is the case, in what sense is the Oromo a nation? Wat is a “nation” according to this document? What is the relation of “Oromo” as an African nation to “Ethiopia” as an African nation? Are these two nations two sovereign African nations? What is the relation between “Oromo” as an African nation to “Oromia” as one of the regions in Ethiopia? Also, Ethiopia is obviously an African nation, but is it true that Oromo is an African nation in the same sense? Or is the meaning of the “Oromo is an African nation” only aspirational in the sense that Oromo will be an independent African nation like the rest of independent, sovereign African nations. All these questions cry out for clear answers.
A paragraph or so later, the document reads, “The foundation of Oromo nationhood has been reestablished and the struggle for national liberation has advanced onto a higher plane.” Question # 3: A clarification of the claim that “the struggle for national liberation has advanced onto a higher plane” would be helpful particularly in reference to the term “national liberation.” Is there any similarity between the objectives of the Oromo Liberation Front and the “national liberation” that appears in the document which is going to be discussed at the convention? What is the relationship and the difference, if there is a difference, between the old-style OLF “liberation” and the new proposal?
Later on, the document states, “This document will articulate the principles that have held the Oromo nation together in the face of colonial tyranny and a century of concerted effort to divide the Oromo along lines of region, religion and lineage.” Question # 4: This statement seems to suggest that the Oromo nation was colonized for a century and that there was an Oromo nation which predates its falling under colonialism. It would be helpful to clarify what form of “colonialism” is suggested here and how long the Oromo nation had existed as a distinct nation before colonialism divided “the Oromo along lines of region, religion and lineage.” Since the language here suggests that Oromo as a nation had been colonized for a century, it would be helpful to be clear which country or nation has colonized the Oromo nation and what form of relationship the Oromo nation will have to its former colonial empire, to use a term that belongs to the colonial period, if the former colonial power exists as a nation.
Why an Oromo National Charter?
I hope that the above set of questions will receive sufficient attention at the Oromo leadership convention. Now let us take moments to seek a plausible rationale for a need for an Oromo national Charter at this moment in Ethiopian history. Those who have been paying close attention to what appeared to be an emergence and a growing solidarity between the Amharas and the Oromos in the most recent protests against the common enemy, i.e., the tyrannical Ethiopian regime, would want to ask, why do the Oromos need their own national Charter now? To answer this question I quote a whole paragraph from the document that seems to answer this question; that is, there is need for an Oromo national Charter to,
[Affirm] gadaa values as a guide for a common future, the second document will restate the core demands expressed in the Oromo protest movement. In effect, it will operationalize the consensus of the Declaration in light of the current demands of the#OromoProtests. These demands include restoration of the practice of popular sovereignty, equality of individual and group rights, freedom of participation in work, industry and development, equal and unencumbered access to resources, equality before the law, freedom from oppressive rule by arbitrary decree, entitlement to personal security, protection of cultural rights and symbols, and adequate access to land, housing, education and standard of living.
This seems be fair and fine, but consider the opening paragraph of the document which provides the background why Oromo leadership convention is needed:
The #OromoProtests of 2015-16 constitute a milestone in the recent history of the Oromo nation. More importantly, they are a continuation of a century of resistance the Oromo have mounted against a succession of ruling elites in Ethiopia who have denied Oromo nationhood, dismissed Oromo nationalism as an elite conspiracy and denigrated the Oromo people’s capacity for self-government. The #OromoProtests have proved that the Oromo are a nation unified in a common national purpose and able to pursue political goals through sophisticated civil action against a heavily armed military.

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It seems to me that the opening paragraph offers a perspective on the need for the Oromo national Charter. That is, the Oromo national Charter is needed because it will codify and perfect the recent Oromo Protest since the recent Oromo Protest is a continuation of a century of resistance the Oromo have mounted against a succession of ruling elites in Ethiopian. On this reading, what appears to be an innocent reading of the Charter as quoted above takes on a much deeper meaning. The much deeper meaning seems to have been captured in the document I have been quoting to raise questions above that frames the issue of Oromo Protest as a culmination of resistance to colonialism by the Oromo nation as a distinct African nation. This leads one to wonder if the Oromo leadership Convention is gathering to formulate a Charter for Oromo as an independent African nation. One can now hopefully see the importance of clarity and my plea for clarity as to what the Oromo leadership Convention is aiming to accomplish. If the Convention aims at formulating a Charter for a distinct African nation, i.e., an Oromo nation, then one can’t help wondering how that Charter would relate to the future of Ethiopia in the event the regime in power collapses or goes away from power.
One corollary of the preceding concern for clarity can be expressed as follows: The Oromo leadership convention is forward-looking and as such its objective is to formulate a Charter for the Oromo people so that when other ethnic groups in Ethiopia come to a table to discuss a peaceful transition to the new Ethiopia, the Oromos will have their Charter ready. That sounds right. But here is a concern one might raise with the implication of this for the rest of the country. Suppose that about 80 ethnic groups come to a table with their distinct Charters to discuss and determine the future of Ethiopia on the basis of their respective Charters along with the Oromo national Charter. How can this be done? What could possibly go wrong with such a scenario? The following problem comes to mind: One of the central premises of the Oromo Protest has been the fact that the Oromos, even though the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, have been marginalized both economically and politically. Granted. Now at the envisaged table where 80 ethnic groups are gathered to determine the future of Ethiopia, there is no reason to doubt that the same premise of the Oromo Protest, i.e., the Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia will come up to negotiate a deal. So what to do? Note that given the premise in question it looks like the Oromos are raising a fair issue. But note the following consequence: Now the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia will have to get to determine the fate of the other, including, minority ethnic groups’ destiny in Ethiopia. How will that work? That question must be answered clearly in the Oromo leadership Convention. It has to be noted that the fate of Ethiopia, given the scenario under consideration, will change the power structure from the minority ethnic group, the TPLF, to the largest ethnic group, the Oromos. The TPLF has apparently tried to distribute power forming a coalition, i.e., EPRDF. If the Oromos replace the TPLF, what would be the equivalent of the “EPRDF” for the future Ethiopia if the largest ethnic group replaces the minority ethnic group? One important fact to bear in mind in this connection is this: It is not only the minority ethnic groups whose fate will be determined by the decision of the largest ethnic group, the Oromos, but the whole fate of Ethiopia as a nation now will likewise be determined by the scenario under consideration.
One potential solution to address the issues raised above is to form a coalition of non-Oromo Ethiopians as a platform to produce their own shared Charter to bargain and determine the future of Ethiopia. In this scenario, the premise that the Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia will not hold since the coalition of non-Oromo Ethiopians will certainly be the largest coalition without the common bond of ethnicity. Interestingly, this coalition of non-Oromo Ethiopians, if real, will dissolve and hence transcend the current regime’s ethnic-based arrangement of political structure. There is no logical ground that will prevent such a coalition of non-Oromo Ethiopians to come together to contend for the future of Ethiopia together with the Oromos. Perhaps, the scenario I am suggesting can solve the problem of a peaceful transition since it does not stand against the interests of the Oromos because they will be fairly treated as the second largest group compared to the coalition of non-Oromos in Ethiopia. It would be helpful to know what the Oromo leadership convention would think of such a scenario for the future of Ethiopia. It is also interesting to know what non-Oromo Ethiopians would think of this proposal to work with the Oromos to forge a new Ethiopia in which all members of any group will be treated equal, fairly, and with dignity.
*The writer, Tedla Woldeyohannes, holds a PhD in Philosophy from St. Louis University. He has taught Philosophy at Western Michigan University and at St. Louis University. He can be reached at twoldeyo@slu.edu

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27 Comments

  1. Ato Tedla,

    We are familiar with your anti-Oromo screeds you’ve posted by even dishing-out your friend’s (Tesgay A. ) intimate correspondence you exchanged as young man. Your PhD from a 3rd rate University, in the ghettos of St. Louis, will not absolve you from reckless postings of meaningless canards about the Oromo Nation and its citizens!

    Ethiopia is not a nation! It is an Empire State, that holds a cauldrons of nations and nationalities… I believe, you come from a Weleyetta nation, some where in the south of the Empire? It will serve you better, not to mess with the Largest Nation in the Empire– the Oromo Nation>

    • Dear Burqaa_ I am an Oromo, and millions of us now have identified your long-standing deceptions. Ethiopia has been a country and will stand as a strong nation. Oromo is the hub of Ethiopia that connect all people from all directions. We will continue to play that role. you and your likes are sale out who listen to the outlook of outsiders such as Egypt/Arabs/Eretria. Oromo is a pride nation like the rest of our people. Our difference is not blood, but culture, geographical location and religion. We. Oromos, are no longer to get deceived.
      May God Bless our People.
      Please we know our real enemies.
      One of whom is Abraha Belai-Ethiomedia blogger. Look what he has posted. he pretends to be Ethiopian, but we know he has an Eritrean background. He has been intentionally posting elements against Our country and people. I have advised him several times to stop because I know of his Eritrean blood, and funding source. Let us watch him carefully. Why is he the first person to post “Egypt’s denial of her involvement in the recent turmoil of our country?” He doesn’t care about Ethiopia and our people as long as he gets his dollars from Egypt. Let us refrain from using his blog. Please circulate this to all Ethiopians. He is the most dangerous person. I am an Oromo, and millions of us are together with all Ethiopians and work for the good of all our people. Few evil people like Jawwar, Ishmael Awilo (who have Islamic Oromia agenda) won’t represent us. Please watch such people careful

  2. I am absolutely to agree with you. I am not sure who is organizing such a convention. It is also unclear for what a purpose. The language used in the writing reflects the same old rhetoric, and divisive to delegate another ethnic politics. This is one of the reasons most Ethiopians are reluctant to voice against current government because they are very suspicious of the ethnic based politics, especially those who are using a language such as “colonial empire, Oromo nation…”. I believe this kind of political maneuver and unfounded history would not take us to the future to build a democratic country. I am very actively dislike the TPLF, but reading such a language and statement of “Oromo convention” made me rethink whether it is right to support opposition group or stay neutral because it is very dangerous the future of Ethiopia with this kind of people still disseminating ethnic statements.

    • Dear All-Please check what Ethiomedia posted- The denial of Egypt to involving in the current turmoil in Ethiopia.
      Dear all. Please Abraha belay-is an Eritrean who work for the Egypt by earning some dollars. This man must be rebuked. Why is he the first person to post Egypt’s denial. Let us wake up all of us. I am an Oromo, and millions of us rebuke his blog. He is intentionally doing Shabia’s agenda as well as egypt’s

  3. Some Oromo intellectuals and their followers have the same syndrome as the Eritreans. The separation syndrome. Your article asks for clarity of their charter. I think they believe they can forge a country out of the Oromo people that are scattered around the four corners of Ethiopia. What we see from Egyptian and other foreign powers is to throw the Ethiopian people once again to a narrow nationalist group in the hope the new group will server their interest. Take for example the communication on face book by the US embassy in Addis Ababa. “We acknowledge the Oromo people frustration”. What type of idiotic comment is that? The frustration is felt throughout the land not just by the Oromo people. People are dying from all parts of the country. This is another ploy to divide us and use us for their own objectives.
    Second – The demonstrators are burning and destroying the little progress that is made during the last 25 years. What need to be burned and destroyed is not the country’s resources but the belief and the statues that are erected by the TPLF to divide and rule us. Burning a car, a house or a factory or whatever it maybe does not help the country heal from its wounds quicker. Instead it sets us back to the road of backwardness. It is one thing to dislike and oppose TPLF (EPRDF) it is another to foment hate, destruction of properties and to adhere to the sameness of what we dislike from the TPLF. Ethiopia without the Oromo or the Tigrean people will never survive as Ethiopia. The unity of its people and its boundaries is what forms the Ethiopia. To advocate anything different than is rubbish. People want change but not the destruction of properties and the loss of life. TPLF (EPRDF) must listen to the demands of the people and arrange a way out before the country is ignited by unstoppable fire that will consume all of us without mercy. That is what we are witnessing in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and others. We must unite to save our country and its people from an imminent destruction. To fulfill this all ethnic groups, religion including TPLF must work together soon. Time is not on our side.

    • I agree. Please we know our real enemies.
      These are Abraha Belai-Ethiomedia blogger. Look what he has posted. he pretends to be Ethiopian, but we know he has an Eritrean background. He has been intentionally posting elements against Our country and people. I have advised him several times to stop because I know of his Eritrean blood, and and funding source. Let us watch him carefully. Why is he the first person to post “Egypt’s denial of her involvement in the recent turmoil of our country?” He doesn’t care about Ethiopia and our people as long as he gets his dollars from Egypt. Let us refrain from using his blog. Please circulate this to all Ethiopians. He is the most dangerous person. I am an Oromo, and millions of us are together with all Ethiopians and work for the good of all our people. Few evil people like Jawwar, Ishmael Awilo (who have Islamic Oromia agenda) won’t represent us. Please watch such people carefull

  4. Dear Tedla

    Thanks a lot for your good questions you raised about the convention held under the title “The “Oromo National Charter” and the Future of Ethiopia:

    I am from Oromiffa speaking family. Millions of Oromos know that Independent Oromia doesn’t work for Many reasons. It is just like bringing earthly hell to Oromos and other Ethiopians. I believe the unfair treatment that has been in our country is a legitimate question that deserve a solution.

    I am sorry to say that the few blind and cruel OLF leaders who work for destruction must be accountable for misleading our Oromo people at large and for any aggravated elements. As an Oromo, our right demand is the culmination of marginalization (this even is too exaggerated by these evil olf leaders). This is not specific to oromos however, but to all Ethiopians.

    It is very good that you are raising wonderful questions. We know for very sure that behind them (OLF leaders), there are Egyptians and Shabia who provide the demonic advise because they do not want a stable and strong nation-called ‘Ethiopia”. Most of these Olf leaders abroad- are too in the darkness (I can say- they do not think properly; their mind is stolen) to really understand that The So called Oromia as a country could not exist for many real reasons. Please watch out this convention (Oromo convention) you were talking-it is from few OLf leaders who have an extremely demonic agenda. If the other group working with other Ethiopians is part of it, then we all have to work hard to do some thing because we do not want different colors. I tried toreach and explain them about it some years ago. I can mention some of the major reasons. 1) One of the major ever threat is the rising of Jihadists. This is very true. In Oromia about 50% could be muslims (I do not have the exact figure). What does this mean to them “ Islamic Oromia is a must” We know who are behind the OLF who are master minding Independent oromo (most of them are those muslims “Jihadists”-extremists (not all muslims for that reason) who have strong tight relations with Egypt and the arabs. They have been leading our people astray. These are their agenda- “Islamic Oromia”: It won’t stop there – to make it a haven for strategic multiplication/trtainign of Jihadist warriors that would control Africa (their illusions and dreams; Insanity).- Please send this information to our long-term friend -west countries.2) We know for very sure that even if Oromifa is spoken as a language- people are extremely different: Bale, Harrar, Wolega, Arsi, Shoa etc- we have real major differences in culture, religion, and distribution. One of the major challenges that OPDO is failing to administer its region is accounted to such big differences. Borana and Harrar Oromo are greatly different in terms of culture and religion (Harrar Oromos are closer to Harrari or Afar). They can’t hide these major problems-that would bring lawlessness and endless civil war. What has diluted this not to show up? Greater Ethiopia. Arsi differ from Jimma very greatly. People are not aware of the fact that I for e.g, from Wallaga has no strong binding element with an Oromo from Arsi or Bale as with Gojam or Shoa Amhara (I must be very frank). Shoa Oromo has strongly less bond with Harar or Bale oromo than Amhara or Gurage. We know what is happening in the region currently. There are apparently wars among the region leaders from top to bottom. What they preach about-Oromia… is so superficial. It is very painful to see many Oromos are being led astray including stuborn Elites such as academic professors/researchers. 3) Lack of no clear boarder between Oromos and other ethnic groups : Oromo and Ogaden (this is the greatest obvious threat that would bring unendless war with Ogaden Somali-in this case the Somalis from the other boundary will undoubtedly join (we can see the recent burning of Ethiopian and OLF flags in USA. This is a very clear sign that they can’t have Oromia as the as dream. Oromos and Somalis have often experienced recurrent boarder conflicts but hasn’t escalated because of the existence of our strong central government. 4) Oromo and Amhara-boundary- no doubt Amhara- more or less equivalent in power in terms of population will fight unendless war for a cm of territorial boundary. These two have board territories with some areas- people mixed people living together. There is no clear boundary (forget the current boundary-it is imaginary). 3) Oromo vs Afar: that could be the third major War Zone for the Oromia to fight with- which is so impossible to resist; 4) the South part of the country- In this case the fight will be to conquer the region by major powers (Amhara/South together vs Oromo). So, How blind are those Oromo leaders- who try to bring endless war in the horn and they never learn or understand the consequences. Then now- we need to mobilize ourselves to defend our nation and country by all means. It is a matter of survival. These people are playing with fire. Indeed, it is easier, for them to think to rule Ethiopia than to rule Independent Oromia. Sometime, I Have been frequently thinking to find out why such people (so-called Oromo liberators from colonial power) fail to understand these extremely dangerous and absolutely destructive agenda? Obviously- their mission is very clear- completely inhuman; unthinkable and that bring unresolved destabilisation (Like Somali, Eretria). All what they think is out of hatred (based on unrealistic history and rumours at large). Why are they failing to think to bring solutions that can work to bring all people together- very simple- work to bring laws and rules that treat all people equally without discrimination.

    To My Oromo Friends

    -Do not listen to these evils- who think Independent Oromia is achievable (do not be proud that it is possible because we are the largest ethnic group- not knowing that many oromos are against; and the other ethnic groups together are larger). These evils-have smooth words to convince- but if you accept it without searching- they are bringing huge curses- to bring destruction for ever.

    -Know that-Oromo is the hub of Ethiopia-that connect every other people and keep them together- think of your role in this way. We know there was unfair treatment. Let us continue to struggle until we rid of it so we all Ethiopians could no longer be subject to it. Let us think of good about other people. Do you know all people from North to south; East-West are now stressed because they are thinking of looming war? DO you know that all our people, besides the poverty; ill treatment and other things they have carried; are now adding stress of thinking uncertain future?

    Let us treat all people in our country as beautiful, great, and amazing people who deserve great value and respect. Let us not hate anyone. Let us teach others what was done wrong. This is the only way to heal ourselves and all our people in Ethiopia.

    Immigration in mass again? Like Somalis and Eritrean-suffering?- this is the greatest psychological damage to us; and our children to come? It doesn’t matter you work and earn good salary in USA, EU etc. But Immigration being poor and because of war-is a stigma (I can say-a curse) that will never leave your generations.

    The few OLF leaders who are advancing Independent Oromia-are more likely to be trained and supported by Egyptians/Eritreans; Let us not hurry to the road of damnation. Please be careful about them.

  5. Your final suggestion is a fair game and very interesting. Thank you for that. Come up with something concrete instead of complaining about others for trying to do their homework. As long as we are ready to play by the rule, there will never be a problem we can’t solve together. I wish you all the best in your suggested effort to come up with a large coalition of non-oromos to negotiate with Oromos to shape the future of Ethiopia in a peaceful manner. It is a fair game for Oromos and others also to come up with a coalition (that includes Oromos and non-Oromos) which might be larger than the large coalition you want to build. All we need is a common sense set of rules and play by it and tackle our complex problems one after the other in a United, democratic and just Ethiopia. I also hope that the ad hoc committee that drafted the document will address the concerns/questions raised by you and the others so that we all will have a better clarity.

    • Dear Guyyaassa
      You are reasonable. Need to work towards our common interest and solutions. As an Oromo, Independent Oromia- is extremely out of reach/impossible-rather it is deadly with no end. These people must be extremely rebuked/opposed.

  6. No group should be allowed to hijack the struggle of the Ethiopian people to steal power by the back door. the people who are dying and paying the price on the battle field are the ones who will decide who rules them and how they should be governed. the people will determine the future of Ethiopia.
    No single interest group can come out and say we know what the people want and we will decide their future for them. this has been the trend generations of politicians have been doing in Ethiopia. the people are left out of the equation.
    the smart Alecs , like Jawaar Mohammad, have been involved in this current round of ‘we know what the people want, we will decide for them” shenanigan. this person is a controversial character who has extreme views and is not the type of person to decide the future of others.

    What direction Ethiopia follows after the current regime is a matter for all stake holders in Ethiopia to decide. Everybody has a stake – on the future direction of Ethiopia. it cannot be decided by arbitrary decision of one group or another. Ethiopia is a complex country and our issues cannot be resolved by one group or another.

    We have to watch out and establish who the people behind are who are calling for this current so called oromo convention. their call for a separate oromo convention goes against the stand of the people to unite together. People on the ground , in the battle field are saying our bloods are the same. woyane or anybody else cannot separate us. Jawaar Mohammad must take note of what the people are saying.

    • I agree. Please we know our real enemies.
      These are Abraha Belai-Ethiomedia blogger. Look what he has posted. he pretends to be Ethiopian, but we know he has an Eritrean background. He has been intentionally posting elements against Our country. Let us watch him carefully. Why is he the first person to post “Egypt’s denial of her involvement in the recent turmoil of our country?” He doesn’t care about Ethiopia and our people as long as he gets his dollars from Egypt. Let us refrain from using his blog. Please circulate this to all Ethiopians. He is the most dangerous person. I am an Oromo, and millions of us are together with all Ethiopians and work for the good of all our people. Few evil people like Jawwar, Ishmael Awilo (who have Islamic Oromia agenda) won’t represent us. Please watch such people carefully.

  7. THE ISSUE OF OROMO CANNOT BE SEEN SEPARATELY FROM THE ISSUES AFFECTING AMHARA, GAMBELLA, OGADEN, AFAR, SIDAMA, GURAGE, KONSO, OMO ,TIGRE etc We are all interconnected in terms of the geographical areas we live in, blood relations through inter marriage, common history in the battle field to build our country etc etc .

    Therefore only through a common charter for all of us can we pave the wayforward, united under one country- ETHIOPIA.
    Whatever the so called leaders, who are proponents of oromo charter , decide to do cannot be done without the participation and willingness of other groups ; because it affects their interests. their decision affects the gurage, the amhara, the sidama, the ogadeni, the afar etc etc .so my advice to Jawaar Mohammad, who is leading this oromo charter thing is that they should not think that this is an easy ride. All the 80 or so ethnic groups in our country have a stake in what the amhara as a group do, the oromo as a group do , the gambella or ogaden do. what we do or do not do cannot be seen in isolation.

    A collective struggle , a collective solution is the only way forward. The Ethiopian people from north to south, east and west are saying we are one country we cannot be divided. the so called political leaders are not yet able to follow the people. they are way behind.
    the people of Ethiopia , themselves, without any leaders or political party leading them are are spearheading the current anti fascist struggle, united in one aim and objective to remove the fascist,looting woyane junta.

    there will be many groups coming out of the woodwork to hijack the struggle and to cause division and to thwart the struggle. Enemies of Ethiopia are at work 24 hours a day 365 days a year. remain alert, remain united.

    • Dear Lemma
      I am now Happy to hear from Ethiopians with similar views like me.

      YOu see one of the major problems are= these bloggers. More specially, Ethiomedia blogger, Abraha Belai-we know him that he is an Eretrian by origin. You can see what he has posted.Egypt denied the involvement….
      We need to be careful of such bloggers. They work for dollars. They do not care about our people/country as long as they get the money from Egypt/Arabs. We need to stand together to stand against people/Mafias like Abraha, Jawwar. We know who Jawar is (He has elements of Islamic Oromia). I am Oromo, but I know Independent Oromia, Colonized Oromia etc deceptions intentionally created by outsiders to deceive and undermine our people. We know one of the reason we remain non-colonized as a country is because of the leading role played by Oromo warriors(With all other people of our country).

      I salute you

  8. I would like to refer the writer of this article to listen to BBN interview with professor Ezekiel Gebessa and OMN Executive Director Jawar Mohammed to get an in depth clarity for your plea. Having said that, when I see your article and the series of questions that you raise I found it that it is a destruction to the solidarity that we are dreaming for and it fits to woyane propaganda. Thank you

  9. Dear writer, Dr. Tedla, I am surprised the fact that you entertained the idea of Oromo-Amhara coalition? That Amhara-Coalition we have been hearing recently is based on nothing common. There is no anything common between the Amahra elites and Oromo elites. The Amhara elites ate Ethiopianist. The Oromo elites are antiEthiopianist. I have been wondering on what basis do the Amhara-Oromo make coalition? The only logic I have heard of is because Oromos and Amharas are large in number? But number does not mean anything if there is no genuine or faithful relationship which does not exist. As Jawar did not hide this even. He said we need the Amahra for political gain, but for common goal? Is that not clear?

    I am fine with opposing TPLF or EPRDF by Amhara because I also did not support the marginalization and persecution of Amhara in the past 25 years. But I have begging question why the Amahra are selling their country because of their opposition to TPLF. As I said I am 100% in support of the Amhara opposing the government for obvious reasons we know. But allying with an Ethiopian Oromo elites or OLF is a big historical mistake. It is possible to overthrow the regime without putting in danger the country. Now it is okay? but once the regime loose control? Ethiopia will be done. No Amahra PHD from USA who make alliance with OLF will able to save Ethiopia. Saudi Arabia allocated 38 Billion dollars to Islamize USA? Imagine about it now ? How much money is allocated to Islamize Ethiopia? OLF is breathing by that new found Arab petrodollar thrown at him. Please Ethiopians who believe in Ethiopiawinet do not play game.

    In every country indigenous people priority than settlers. History tell us the Oromo came from somewhere at the end of the 16 century. They have no any recorded history in Ethiopia except faked up history which they throw on us. It is okay Oromos have to have equal right with everyone in Ethiopia as Ethiopians. But we must put on a bet our unparalled recorded history. Ethiopia is the oldest country on earth. But these Olf do not accept that? All people migrated from one continent to another. Europeans to North America, Africa and Africans from one part of Africa to another part. Migration did not start by Oromo. They are ashamed of their history of Oromo migration. To change the Oromo migration history they wanted to destroy our recorded history. This is why they even brought in European Latin Alphabet?

    What I am saying is that Oromos have no land of their own in Ethiopia. I have read Ethiopian history and no trace of Oromo history before the migration. What I am saying to our Oromo compatriots. You have no any land in Ethiopia. The land belongs to all Ethiopians. The current Oromia is created by TPLF and has no historical basis at all.

    I do love you my Oromo compatriots. But I have to be honest to be fair to all Ethiopians including to the indigenous Ethiopians. You can take away the rights of indigenous people to solve your own psychological problem. I am saying openly without hide and seek. There is no Oromo land in Ethiopia. you have land that you can call yours. The White South Africans have to give back the land to the indigenous people in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Because the whites came from Europe and invaded the land and occupied and they used it for about 400 years now. But the land belongs to the people who were there before the settlers.

    My message to Oromo chauvinists, Arfachu Tekemetu. You will put the innocent poor Oromo in bad situation as Shabia did put Eritreans bad situation. You have to fight with Somali Ethiopia, Amhara, Tigrean, Afar, Gurage, Wolaita, … with everyone to crate fake Oromia. Do not expect everyone is going to sit down with folded hands and give you Oromia on a silver plate. No one recognizes Oromia except TPLF.

    My appeal to Ethiopians, please stop this ethnic politics and start a brand new all inclusive civil movement that can help all Ethiopians. We will never allow Ethiopia to be divided into piece. I will go back home and fight for one Ethiopia with all nations and nationalities. We will never bet on our county.

    Oromos brother and sister, accept history you migrated to Ethiopia and that is the fact you must accept. If you do not agree you have not migrated to Ethiopia? you will have to prove that scientifically. We will not accept teret teret. Migration did not start with Oromo people. European, the Yankees, the Oliver CromWell migrated to USA,Australia, Newzeland and Canada. The Irish did the same. The British migrated from Scandinavian countries and formed England. The Oromos migrated to Ethiopia and occupied land. There is no trace of Oromo history in Ethiopia that goes beyond the end of the 16 century.

    You were called Gala? right? what was your name before? I wanted to know that? but no Oromo will tell me ? Oromo is a Geez is new name given during derg time? what was your name before Gala? I am serious. The very name Oromo is a new name. It is a Geez name. You better study where you came from because these can be an interesting research project for PHD in Oromo anthropology.

    My Oromo brother and sister, it is okay to be migrants descent. I am in North America now. My kids can not deny I came from Ethiopia in Africa.

    If you have long history in Ethiopia? why did you borrow Latin Aphabeit?

    When I say all these, I do not mean Oromo has to be treated differently or discriminated. Oromos must be treated as human and equal with everybody. It does not matter where they came from because this is the 21 century. It would be very interesting to know where’re the Oromos came from, but it is not necessary.Oromos are human and must be at home wherever they are and where they came from does not matter.

    But when Oromoos ally with Egypt an Ethiopian enemy, then you are in trouble. We will never accept this. Your number does not matter. If your number did matter you were in the bush before TPLF for 40 years. Because your number you did not liberate even one district before TPLF. We do not give shit to your number. We love the Oromo as our own people because they are our own people now we intermarried and interconnected now. We are connected by blood now regardless where Oromos came from.

    But we will never accept you wanted to rewrite our history and tell us you had a country before? when and where did Oroomo country existed?

    This is the 21 century. Please stop this rubbish fake stories.We are not small children and we know our history very well. Ethiopia is the old country on earth and recorded on the stones and in the oldest book the bible and even written in the tombs and mummies of Egypt pyramids.

    To my Amhara compatriots, Ere Beseab belu? Endie, Olf Egypt Aguzien Eyale enanted degmo Men enhun new yemetelut? Yehe alliance tieyma aydelem. Loose coalition is not good. Because you hate TPLF you do not have to dismantle Ethiopia. TPLF will go sooner or later, but Ethiopia and Ethiopia must be proceed from OLF and Egpt, and Shabia.

    Ethiopia Lezelalem Tinur, Telatechaw Ytfu. Ethiopian history will never be dictated by OLF. Ethiopia’s destiny will be dictated only by God. I tell you God sits in Tsion Mariam Askum. God is not siting in Ethiopia randomly? There is a reason beyond your understanding. You have no power to dismantled Ethiopia. Ethiopia is protected by Divine power. I assure you 100% Olf you will never succeed with fake agenda. We will allow any secession within Ethiopia and we will bring back Eritrea itself and Djibouti, Even Somalia. rest assured OLF agenda is outdated and dead. Olf addenda will not benefit even Oromos. It is narrow . Did you hear the Olf leader asking Egypt to help and to give her Blue Nile? Balegiewoch

  10. Hey Tedla, Yigermal etc,

    get ready to fight like the Oromos. They are dying in thousands. Their immediate concern is to liberate themsleves. It is up to us rest of Ethiopians to organize and fight like the oromos. Id we do not fight and criticism from outside, I do not blame them if the Oromos separate. We were sitting in our couch when the TPLF fight the Derg. Never organized to as alternative to Derg. So there was a vacancy filled by the TPLF. The same will happen if we do not organize and fight because the Oromos will continue to fight and in the end they will win. By that time if you still are in your couch, they will separate obviously because there is no force to stop them. So shut up and put up the work. The work is not about gathering and forming coalition. It is about forming coalition and fight together or fight it out alone. Even if the Oromo parties say they fght to univy Ethiopians, if we the rest of Ethiopians participate in the struggle physically, they can change their mind and separate. got it? Do not be alarmed and blame Jawar and et al. They are doing their job. Do your job, please. In 1998 we erred when we supported and fought against Eritrea. Are we going to repeat the same mistake?

  11. Zebasha, you are racist, tribalist and ethnicist. go to hell. you can delete my comment 1 million time. I wasted my time, narrow, Zeregnea.

  12. Thank you Tedla for being so articulate and raising the cloud over the shenanigans of the so called liberation movement ideology. I also believe that all political organizations, not just the OLF, must state their vision and objective in plain and honest language that we can use as a bench mark to give or deny support to.

    There is hitherto expired political verbatim that was used in the so called “Oromo National Charter” that is the source of consternation for the writer of the article and many millions of Ethiopians. Such language as “Abyssinian Empire, colonization, Oromo Nation etc.” and the political thinking that go with it originate from a bankrupt and defunct marxist/ leninist/ maoist/ revolutionary democracy ideologies that failed because such thinking did not pass the test of human aspirations. I hoped that the OLF and Oromo political leaders would recognize that by now and modernize their philosophy to suit the current thinking of the multitude of young freedom fighters in Ambo, Arsi, Harrar, Wolega, Bahir Dar, Gonder, Debre Tabor, Dabat, Debark etc etc who are focused on building the future, TOGETHER, rather than destroying the chance of a common vision shared by all Ethiopians for a just and democratic country.

  13. All those rubbish idea of opposing Oromo people struggle is what has been said for so long.Now it has reached the level of no return or you shrugg off. We the people of oromia never accept the Habasha rule again on our land.

  14. Let them discus their convention, if it is good will it be accepted, in minesota but not in ethiopia. there is no oromiya and ethiopian empire until now. If an Oromo state will be formed at the ground, i am not afaraid to live in it. I know my Oromo People and their respect for other ethiopian ethnics. But i do not know where the boundary will be. Are these conventionist ready to accept actual bondaries or they want to expand it or loose some teritories? Are they ready to accept two or more religions in future oromyia? What have they in plan for the minorities inside the state of oromiya? what about their tradition, language and culture? The most important quetion is how is the feeling of the conventionist against those oromos who believed and believe an integrated ethiopia as a Nation not as an empire or coloniser like me? Do not be foolish we ethiopian oromos are not minority inside ethiopia or future Oromiya. We are the majority. We do not want another boundery wars like Badme in multiple direktion. We hope we will find fine solution. At last do not forget me if you want an interior minster in in oromyia of ethiopia!!Long live ethiopia, Peace and equality for ethiopian regardles of their ethnicity and reliogions. Long live Oromo ethiopians. Ethiopia with out Oromo is not complet and Oromo with out ethiopia will not exist. Believe me!!

  15. Thank you for raising these timely/relevant questions regarding the convention.
    We must be awake from our deep sleep….there is a psychological warfare being waged against the population of Ethiopia, my friends this old recycled virus, is worse than HIV, if allowed; it will infect our mind-set, so need to guard our minds from this destructive force…we have to loudly and publicly say no to DIVISION.
    I am truly saddened to see time again, the same old recycled reasoning advertised in the name of one ethnicity against the other. Division by any means serves no one…….have WE not seen enough bloodshed in the name of division, what is the point of history (HIS-STORY) if we don’t draw lessons from it.
    In life, nothing is achieved through me and mine only…the “ME syndrome/Virus” we must defeat it now…..at a time when we should be teaching the next generation to respect, to love, to embrace our differences and to work for unity, yet again another so called intellectuals still banging on about division on the basis of locality, playing number games……..this kind of mentality will only help Ethiopia to descend into chaos…. I go on to say, this convention is seeking to hijack the legitimate questions of the Oromo struggle…. we must reject it, say no to it, whenever and wherever we see it, and this counter article is so timely, it needed to be said and the separatist and cunning agenda needed to exposed.
    I acknowledge we are all at different levels of consciousness and I guess until we say enough to division and start to work collectively for “the consciousness of UNITY, individually and take responsibility collectively”…..I am afraid some people will continue to be victims of our so called intellectuals, who advocate for Division and as no doubt would be fishing for people whom they can devour – So my friends, awake and beware of this virus, and say no to it.
    May God Bless Ethiopia

  16. Mr. Tadel, you can join TPLF. They need a lot of good people writing in English.
    What is your issue if Oromo struggle to stop the killing. If you lose more than 2000 peaceful people, you can start solving the issue.
    For now none of your people are dying and you are practicing some kind of English here. Son of the bitch.

    We dont differentiate those who joke on our deads any different from TPLF.

  17. Opposing the TPLF does not mean creating another Ethnocentric group from any tribe, ethnic background to dominate the whole of Ethiopia or to allow secession of any group. The idea the Oromo people can live and operate outside Ethiopian unity is a daydream by worthless intellectuals for their own benefit. What we are looking is simple. A representative government made up from all walks of life elected by the people to server the people. His/Her ethnic background does not make any difference as long as the election process is democratic.
    I also hear words like Oromo army, charter etc.. what is all this rubbish? If that is what your goal is what is so bad about the TPLF? Are we not saying we are dominated by a single ethnic group and we need change and representation? Who are you going to fight with your Oromo army? I hope it is Egypt, not our people that are tired by the killings of their own government and some opposition groups that serve outside powers. What I want is one country, one people to live together in harmony with full democratic rights. If Ato Ibsa and others are planning to forge Oromia out of Ethiopia, the battle will be going an abated. No one will allow you to realize your daydream. Ethiopia without the Oromo, the Tigrean and many others nationalities will never be Ethiopia.It is our unity that makes us to be who we are!

  18. Thanks for your insightful questions and discussion.

    Your concern “how the ‘existing’ regime will go away, but also who will replace it and how different the future of Ethiopia will be from its past” is the concrn of many. For me, more than removing the government, who will repalce it is important. By this, I do not mean we should not work for democracy in the country; I am saying we should seriously reflect as to what is in store for us. Though bad, overthrowing a governent in a highly charged political enviornment without certainity as to the future is a disaster. The horrific experience of Libya which has no history of ethnic conflicts is in point. Syria is another even if there is still government. Yemen and Somalia can be added here.

    If the work for democratization in our country is not properly handled, it can be reversed for a long time. Recent movements in countries that avoided civil war like the ones being witnessed in Libya and Syria are not few. Algeria, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Iran, Djibouti, Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Mauritania, Libanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE all saw peoples’ movements for democracy, but governments in the said countries quashed them. With the state of emergency, Ethiopia might join this group.

    The risk to the struggle for democracy in Ethiopia is narrow political interest of OLF and diaspora Oromo activists. Now they have reached a stage where they’re talking about an all out war against Ethiopia with a view to dismantle it. Dawud Ibas’ interview confirms this fact. The actvists are talking about transitional government and charter with the hope that they will create independent Oromia. But all this talk came after they got the backing of Amaras who also rose up against the government. Once Amaras know the intention of D. Ibsa and the activists they will withheld their backing without which they’ll make no progress. In addition to and apart from Amara noncooperation, they will face a serious challenge from regular Oromos who aspire for democracy and pay sacrifices. Those who try to sit on top of Oromo struggle for democracy by making statements and drafting this or that paper will learn the bitter lesson once they know Oromos are for united democratic Ethiopia.

  19. Guys! What are the people’s demands!??? All those questions must be revised and answered. What were the slogans!!!??? Those must be seen!!! Why did they that!!??? The native people must have reasons!!! Do they lie or said true!!?? To whom those messages delivered!!??? Not to The Federal Government; it is to The Regional Government!!!(To OPDO) OPDO must answer it!!!

    Others who are broadcasting in your medias are, your opinions!!!

  20. All I can say to this very concerned and honest intellectual looking for clarification is Good Luck. You will not get a plausible response from those who have been hell bent on carving out a territory they will have it as their fiefdom. Instead, you may rather get the usual name calling. You know which one of the ‘names’. They have a large bundled up dictionary complied and intended just for individuals and ethnic groups who question. Good luck!!!
    In the meantime, they are having the youth of that country do the grunt work and the deadly one for them. The youth over there is jobless, usually under fed and seeing no hope in his/her future under oppressive goons at the helm. This condition is not confined in Oromia region only. The youth of Oromia is not singled out for miserable condition but rather found in every region. And every region, this is extremely important for me, has its own ruler. You see in times of Haile Selassie there was one emperor(king) only. But since 1995 there has been one emperor(king) in each region. Each emperor has his own entourage and killer security police who will not hesitate to shoot you between the eyes at the first word out of your mouth complaining(protesting). Remember these security forces are not in the condition their predecessors used to be during the emperor’s time or even the Mengistu’s time. They are generously pampered and they will not cringe a bit at a site of a human blood flowing. The chiefs in Amhara regions have their own deadly and ruthless policemen they can unleash on their own people at a moment’s notice. The chiefs in Oromia do have the same killing commodity in their inventory. In Tigray the chief over there has the same apparatus. The first time I heard about the killings in Oromia last year I phoned and asked my relatives who live in the capital and in western Hararghe to ask them who is who in the security police force in Oromia. They have a firsthand account about that because all of them are small size merchants and traveling traders. They started giving me a rundown of names. ‘Do you remember so and so? His son or grandson is the commander or constable in this or that locality there’. On and on went the list. They ask for the federal help only when they are tired of killing. That is why I don’t buy into this accusation by this opposition group who claim that the killing is being carried out by one ethnic group. I want you to go back with me some 150 years. This is something I heard my father telling a story of resistance my grandfathers waged against the forces of Minelik. Minelik’s warlord who sent to wage the invasion was Abba Shaitan. That was his nom de guerre. His foot soldiers were other Oromos from the Shewa regions of Leqaa, Ambo, Abitchu and other adjacent areas. The warlord himself spoke fluent Oromifaa and it makes you say ummmm. My grandfather and his Itu clan members held their ground for more than a year in the vicinities of Harbaa, Asaboti, Miensa and Ciro areas. There was a stalemate and at some point Abba Shaitan was forced to withdraw close to the Awash River. Who were doing the fighting and killings for him? They were other Oromos who were entitled to the spoils of war. When the war was over those who desired to remain in the region did so including those who claim to be Amharas and mostly from the Menz region. This is the actual and real history I heard from the son of a man who fought Minelik’s warlord. That son happened to my father. You see during those days of my early childhood in the very early 1950’s my father and his brother along with their ‘neftegna’ friend who grew up together used to sit in front of our house in the late afternoon talking about the places and history of the area most often reciting them in gerresaa. When I remember that and hear what my relatives have been telling me now, I find two stories in parallel. Some of the stories told in the gerresa recitals are moving, uplifting and packed with history telling. At the time goes by, they may have faded away. I have written down most of them about forty years ago before they leave my memory. Someday in the near future I may put them in a pamphlet form for the next generation. Some of you may try to tell me that those Oromos during the Minelik time were coerced to go to war to fight their own kin and kits. So are the current ones. Or you may try to tell me that both were bamboozled. The first one just me laugh but the 2nd one makes my blood boil in anger. We Oromos may be poor and easy going but don’t insult me and millions of us by implying we are intellectually challenged. Don’t even think about that. The societies in both times were ravaged by grinding poverty. Among millions in poverty you will not be hard pressed to find those who turn ruthless for a rewarding compensation. That is called, at least in my book, a hefty return on investment. Understand? You get the idea!! I’m out!!!!

  21. Mulugeta (Goutom)…The deafening slogan “DOWN DOWN WOYANNE!” at the Ereecha festival could not be directed to the leaders of the Tigray State? Could it?

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